We may not know what stocks in the S&P 500 will do next month or two years from now, but over the decades we’ve got a pretty good idea that they’re going to go up. Most of us also know what a stock is, and that definition hasn’t changed in centuries.
Of course, this does not apply to cryptocurrencies. Some predict the coins will forever change our understanding and interaction with money, and others warn of a dangerous bubble.
But whatever a person predicts for cryptocurrencies, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine a future without them.
CNBC asked experts from various fields to describe their vision for currencies 50 years from now. Your answers have been compressed and edited for the sake of clarity.
• Ivory Johnson, Certified Financial Planner and Founder of Delancey Wealth Management
“Cryptocurrencies will disrupt traditional finance as one of their most attractive utilities is the ability to move payments across borders efficiently without cost, delays, or currency fluctuations. In terms of Bitcoin, 50 years is a long time and Bitcoin could either become the world’s reserve currency or the next AOL that made a lot of people rich until it was replaced by better technology. “
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• Frederick Kaufman, author of “The Money Plot: A History of Currency’s Power to Enchant, Control, and Manipulate”
“Well before 2071, the dollar will have more in common with a cryptocurrency than with silver or gold, so there is no reason to doubt the longevity of encrypted algorithms as a store of value and a medium of exchange. All money is a form of encryption. This has been the case from the start, and as our lives move closer and closer to the digital universe, the urge to invest in tokens will only accelerate. Ironically, this impulse will connect us to primitive instincts and do its part in keeping us human. “
• Dan Egan, vice president of behavioral finance and investing at Betterment
“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have proven useful for moving money and speculation and are unlikely to go away. But where and how we generate the energy to meet the demand of a growing crypto market is worth considering and whether state actors who view it as a competitor to fiat power will make it even more of a black market product. “
• Dragan Boscovic, Founder and Director of the Blockchain Research Lab at Arizona State University
“Central banks are busy developing regulations for cryptocurrencies. They recognize that digital currencies are at home in the digital economy and as such are on the way to becoming mainstream in the next 10 years.”
• Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America
“Sorry. I decided some time ago that I was too old for this subject.”